60 looted Cypriot antiquities to be repatriated

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Sixty Cypriot antiquities looted after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 will be returned following an agreement between Cyprus and German authorities.

According to CyprusMail, the Historic Repatriation Agreement, signed in Munich, marks the final chapter of the Aydin Dikmen case, a major antiquities smuggling operation. This agreement facilitates the repatriation of 24 ecclesiastical relics and 36 prehistoric and other antiquities after June 20.

The Church of Cyprus celebrated the day as historic and joyful, marking the end of 27 years of efforts and legal battles.

Turkish antiquities smuggler Dikmen, with the aid of the occupation regime and accomplices, was responsible for removing over 50 Greek Orthodox, Maronite, and Armenian Christian monuments, as well as antiquities from occupied archaeological sites and private collections.

Among the thousands of objects seized in March 1997 from Dikmen’s smuggling operation were 318 relics of Cypriot origin, including 6th-century mosaics, frescoes from the 8th to 15th centuries, icons, doors, manuscripts, and various prehistoric artifacts.

The legal battle began in 2004 and was resolved in 2010 by the Munich District Court. However, Dikmen’s appeal led to the partial repatriation of 173 relics in July 2013 and another 85 in August 2015.

The final resolution came with the signing of the repatriation agreement, restoring cultural heritage to its rightful place.

Source: Cyprusmail

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